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Walk Score released its most recent walkability rankings for America’s 2,500 largest cities and towns this past summer. The ratings are based on a scale of 1-100, and include factors like accessibility to services and amenities like grocery stores, parks, schools, hospitals, and mass transit. Neighborhoods ranked 0-49 are “Car Dependent”; 50-69 are “Somewhat Walkable”; 70-89 are “Very Walkable” and 90-100 are “Walkers Paradises.” The average Walk Score for America’s communities was 43; we remain a car-dependent nation. But many communities are quite walkable.

It may have lots of traffic and highways and be the butt of bad jokes, but communities in my home state of New Jersey top Walk Score’s list. Union City takes top place with a walkscore of 92.2, followed by nearby Hoboken (92.2) and West New York (90). West Hollywood, California (89.4) ranked fourth and Cambridge, Massachusetts (88.8) fifth. Of the 50 biggest cities, New York topped the list with a score of 85.3, followed by San Francisco (84.9), Boston (79.2), Chicago, (74.3), Philadelphia (74.1), Seattle (73.7), Washington, D.C. (73.2), Miami (72.5), Minneapolis (69.3), and Oakland (68.2). The map above shows Walk Score’s top ten cities overall as well as the top ten biggest cities.

With the help of my colleague Charlotta Mellander, we updated my previous analysis of the relationships between walkability and key economic and demographic characteristics of U.S. metropolitan areas. Then we matched the new Walk Score data for these 50 largest cities to statistics for the broader metro areas of which they are a part. As before, we found significant associations. Walkable metros had higher levels of highly educated people (a correlation of .36), higher wages (.61), higher housing values (.50), more high-tech companies (.58), greater levels of innovation (.45), and more artistic creatives (.57).

Read the entire article at: Atlantic Cities

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